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Sat, Feb 19, 2005

Textron Lycoming To Appeal Texas Verdict

Company Will Fight $96 Million Verdict Related To Crankshaft Failures

Textron Lycoming has announced that the company will appeal the recent verdict in a Texas court which orders the company to pay $9.7 million in actual damages and $86.3 million in punitive damages to Interstate Southwest Ltd. of Navasota (TX).

Lycoming had originally sued Interstate Southwest over the issue of failed crankshafts, claiming that the latter had overheated forgings that were used to produce the crankshafts, resulting in weakening that led to the failures. However, Interstate countered that Lycoming's design for the crankshafts was flawed, and their decision to add Vanadium to make the metal used for the forgings stronger exacerbated the problem.

"At this point, Lycoming just recently received the verdict and we're studying it very carefully," said Karen Gordon, Textron spokeswoman, to the Wichita Business Journal. "We strongly disagree with the outcome of this case and we're going to very aggressively pursue post trial motions and the appellate process, if necessary, and firmly believe we're going to prevail."

The issue stems from the failures of crankshafts in engines installed in Cessna, Piper and other aircraft. From 2000 to 2002, 24 crankshafts failed, resulting in 12 fatalities.

FMI: www.lycoming.textron.com

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